Editorial: Thumbs

Published 7:30 am Sunday, January 20, 2013


To new soccer fields.

We are glad the Albert Lea City Council gave its approval to the Albert Lea Youth Soccer Association to turn the field across from Edgewater Bay Pavilion into a complex of six soccer fields. The association will level the land, tile, grade and seed the field. The group will cover the expenses and provide volunteer labor. The project is slated to be wrapped up by August 2014. The city will maintain the soccer complex in the long term.

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This is a reflection on how much the people of Albert Lea love their parks, that in tight budget times the people step up to do the work and find the funding and labor for new facilities. It is how the Albert Lea parks primarily have expanded facilities in recent years. Less common are the times where the city pays for an entire new facility.

People who desire a dog park or new softball fields ought to follow the example of the soccer association.


To charges brought in a crash that killed 2 people.

It’s hard to believe that an adult who didn’t have a driver’s license, who was responsible for driving a van full of children and who committed an infraction that resulted in the death of two kids is not facing more serious charges than simple traffic violations. The driver was charged with failure to obey a stop sign and to yield right of way and not having a valid driver’s license.

The crash happened last July near Hanlontown when the driver, 22, ran a stop sign and the minivan she was driving was struck by a semi. Two girls, ages 9 and 12, died. Where is justice for them?

We also question how the Worth County Conservation Department could have allowed her to drive in the first place. People driving children should have driver’s licenses. Agencies that hand over an ignition key to a van of children should double check the legitimacy of their drivers.


To state legislators looking at ways to reduce property taxes.

It seems for the past decade or so in Minnesota property taxes have gone up, up and up as legislators fought hard to shrink the state government and limit fuel, sales and income taxes. In the mix, the people of our fair state ended up with more fees and surcharges tied to government services than ever before and local governments were squeezed to the point that after massive cuts and unfunded state mandates they were left to raise property taxes to pay the bills. To many political followers, state cuts to local government indeed were property tax hikes. The most obvious was the loss two years ago of the homestead tax credit. That just might have cost Republicans their majority. Voters may have seen the anti-tax party as not so anti-tax when it came to ordinary homeowners. The DFLers now in power hope to capitalize on the momentum and provide the property tax relief they promised during the election. If they can do it, the relief will be welcome news for Albert Lea homeowners. Make sure you fill out your homeowner property tax refund this tax filing season.